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Bernard MacLaverty (born 14 September 1942) is an Irish writer of fiction. His novels include Lamb, Cal, Grace Notes and The Anatomy School. He has written five books of short stories.

Bernard MacLaverty
Born (1942-09-14) 14 September 1942 (age 76)
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
OccupationNovelist, playwright, screenwriter, short story writer, librettist
EducationHoly Family Primary School Belfast
Alma materQueen's University Belfast
Notable worksLamb,
Grace Notes,
The Anatomy School



MacLaverty was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and educated at Holy Family Primary School in the Duncairn district and then at St Malachy's College. He worked as a medical laboratory technician and was a mature student at Queen's University Belfast. He lived there until 1975 when he moved to Scotland with his wife, Madeline, and four children (Ciara, Claire, John, and Jude). He currently lives in Glasgow.

He was Writer-in-Residence at the Universities of Aberdeen, Liverpool John Moores, Augsburg and Iowa State. He was the Ireland Fund Artist-in-Residence in the Celtic Studies Department of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto in October 2007.[1]


MacLaverty's Lamb is a novel about faith, relationships and ultimately, love; Cal is an examination of love in the midst of Irish violence. Grace Notes, which was shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize, is about the conflict between a desire to compose and motherhood. The Anatomy School is a comic coming-of-age novel. He has also written five acclaimed collections of short stories, most of which are in his 'Collected Stories' (Cape 2013).

MacLaverty wrote a screenplay for Cal in 1984; Helen Mirren and John Lynch starred and Mark Knopfler composed the film soundtrack. He also adapted Lamb for the screen; Liam Neeson and Hugh O'Conor starred and Van Morrison composed the soundtrack.

He has written versions of his fiction for other media - radio plays, television plays, screenplays and libretti. In 2003 he wrote and directed a short film "Bye-Child" (BAFTA nominated for ‘Best Short Film’) and more recently wrote libretti for Scottish Opera's Five:15 series - ‘The King’s Conjecture’ with music by Gareth Williams and 'The Letter' with music by Vitaly Khodosh. For Scottish Opera in 2012, and again with music by Gareth Williams, he wrote 'The Elephant Angel', an opera for schools which toured Scotland and Northern Ireland.

List of published worksEdit

  • Secrets & Other Stories Blackstaff Press (1977)
  • Lamb Cape /Blackstaff Press (1980)
  • A Time to Dance & Other Stories Cape /Blackstaff Press (1982)
  • Cal Cape /Blackstaff Press (1983)
  • The Great Profundo & Other Stories Cape /Blackstaff Press (1987)
  • Walking the Dog & Other Stories Cape /Blackstaff Press (1994)
  • Grace Notes Cape /Blackstaff Press (1997)
  • The Anatomy School Cape/Blackstaff Press (2001)
  • Matters of Life & Death & Other Stories Cape (2006)
  • Collected Stories Cape (2013)
  • Midwinter Break: A Novel, W. W. Norton & Company (2017)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "SMC Sponsored Programs - Celtic Studies - Ireland Fund Artist-in-Residence Program | University of St. Michael's College". Retrieved 28 September 2017.

External linksEdit